Friday, November 25, 2011

What I'm Thinking About on Black Friday... and it's not about going shopping

Photo from Say No to Black Friday
Today is Black Friday. I'm not a big fan of crowds, or big box stores. So I won't be going shopping.

I'm also not a big fan of over-consumption, so even if I did like crowds and big box stores I wouldn't want to be part of the whole holiday buy! buy! buy! scene.

What will I be doing instead today?
  • I will be thinking about the security guard who died a few years ago at Wal-Mart when shoppers trampled him on their way to buy! buy! buy!

  • I will be thinking of all the people who had their Thanksgivings cut short because they had to go to work, as more and more stores decided to be open on Thanksgiving so people could buy! buy! buy!

  • I will be thinking - as I do at this time every year - of Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, the young Chabad couple who were killed in the Mumbai Massacre on November 26, 2008, and who left behind an orphan son, who was not even two.
And why do I think of Gabi and Rivkah Holtzberg every year? It is not just for remembrance - it is for inspiration. There are many stories of the couples' incredible kindnesses, there are over 12,000 mitvahs (good deeds) that have been performed in their memory, and perhaps most moving, photo after photo of babies named after the slain couple.

Is it a surprise that reflecting on a life lived with such a sense of purpose would be more inspiring to me than the thought of a really great Black Friday bargain?

Not really.

And so, this Black Friday I'll leave the deals to anyone who wants them. As for me, I'll happily be one of the people participaing in Buy Nothing Day.


Krista said...

I, too, will not be buying in to the consumerism. A good post, and good reminders!

Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress said...

Friday was the last Black Friday I will ever participate in again. I'm kind of ashamed that i woke up at the crack of dawn to participate in the madness.

Also, the deals were....terrible.

MannahattaMamma said...

beautifully written & thank you. there is something deeply, deeply crazy in the fetishization of Black Friday. Let's give thanks on Thursday and then BUY CRAP NOW on Friday. Crazy. And dangerous. It's the darkest, ugliest side of capitalism...and I always feel awful for the people who have to staff the sources of the craziness: the shop keepers, store workers, and the beleagured cashiers!

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